Egypt: Gods - Angels of Thoth

Angels of Thoth

It is clear that the followers of Osiris believed in a material heaven,and we have now to consider where that heaven was situated. In a passage in the text of Unas {line 191 ff. the Angels of Thoth, and the ancient ones, and the Great Terrifier, who cometh forth from the Nile, Hap and Ap-uat, who cometh forth from the Ap-uat, are called upon to witness that the mouth of the king is pure, because he eats and drinks nothing except that upon which the gods live. The text says, "Ye have taken Unas with you, and he drinketh that which ye drink, he liveth as ye live, he dwelleth as ye dwelll, he is powerful as ye are powerful, and he saileth about as ye sail about" ; thus the heaven where Unas lived after the death was in a boat. The text continues, "Unas hath netted {fowl and fish with the net in Aaru, Unas hath possesion over the waters in Sekhet-Aanru, of the later Recensions of the Book of the Dead. From the number of other passages we find that Aaru or Sekhet-Aaru was divided into a number of districts, the chief of which was called Sekhet-Hetep, i.e., "Field of Peace and was presided over by the god Sekhet- Hetep,. To the south of this region lay Sekhet-Sanehemu, i.e., "Field of Grasshoppers," and in it were the Lakes of the Taut, and the Lakes of the Jackals,. In the waters of Aaru, or Sekhet-Aaru, Ra purified himself of beings . His heavenly life here also dwelt in the three classes of beings, called Akhemu-seku, Akhemu-Betesh, and Akhemu-Sesh-emau, that is to say, three classes of celestial bodies or beings who were never to diminish, or melt away, or decay.

All the evidence as to the position of the region Aaru shows that orginally it was thought to be in the sky, but, on the other hand, there is indications that it was entered from certain places in the Delta, and among such was the region which contained the double city, Pe-Tep and Tettu, or Tatau. Thus in a passage in the text of Pepi I. {line 255 it is said, "Pepi hath gone forth from Pe, and from being with the Souls of Pe, and as he is arrayed in the apparel of Horus, and in the garment of Thoth, and as he is arrayed in the apparel of Horus, and in the garment of Thoth, and as Isis is before him and Nephthys is behind him, Apuat openeth a way for him , and Shu beareth him up, and the Souls of Annu make him to mount the steps that they may present him to Nut who stretcheth out her hands to him, even as they did for Osiris when he arrived in the other world. O Hra-f-ha-f, Pepi hath journed on the Sekhet-Aar, he come forth from Uart, and since he is the body which hath come forth from God, and the uraeus which hath come forth from Ra, he hath sailed on the Sekhet -Aar, having the four Spirits of Horus, Hap, Amset, Tuamutef, and Qebhsennuf, with him, two of each side." The view of the position of Skhet-Aaru is supported by several passages in the Theban Recesion of the Book of the Dead, and the pictures of the district, with its lakes and canals which form the vignettes to the cxth Chapter, indicate that it was situated to the north of Egypt. The name Sekhet-Aaru appears to mean "field of Plants," and the idea conveyed by it was that of some very fertile region where farming operations could be carried on with ease and success, and where it would be possible to possess a large, well kept, and well stocked homestead, situated at no great distance from the Nile, or from one of its main branches. In the text the deceased prays, "Let "me have the power to order my own fields in Tettu and my own 'growing crops in Annu. Let me live upon bread made of white grain, and let my beer be made from red grain, and may the persons of my father and mother be given unto me as guardians of my door, and for the ordering of my homestead. Let me be sound and strong, and let me have much room wherein to move, 'and let me be able to sit wheresoever I please" {Chapter lii..

In the neighborhood of Tettu the orginal Sekhet-Aaru was thought to be located, and in Tettu the reconstruction of the dismembered body of Osiris took place, and it was here that the solemm ceremony of setting up his backbone was performed each year . The city of Tettu, or Tatau, here referred to was the capitol of the ninth nome of Lower egypt called Per-Asar-neb-Tettu, by the Egyptians, and Busiris by the Greeks. A portion of it called Neb-sekert, was preserved, according to one tradition, the backbone, of Osiris ; according to another his jaws were there preserved.